Demand for a way to ensure staff safety at work resolved.

We have launched the new RedAlert Welfare application that allows employers to keep their employees safe from any danger they might encounter too, at and from work.


Organisations from sectors including manufacturing, retail, professional services, banking and finance are looking at how they can deploy technology to ensure their employees have the protection and support they need when working alone.

More than 33,000 of Our specialist Red Alert devices and applications have been sold to employers up to June this year – an increase of more than 8% when compared with the same period the previous year.

More than 33,000 of Our specialist Red Alert devices and applications have been sold to employers up to June this year – an increase of more than 8% when compared with the same period the previous year.

In addition, a rise in interest is being partly driven by organisations whose staff work in low risk professions and have not previously sought protection from traditional lone worker technology.

Almost 30% more enquiries have been made to Orbis Protect’s Red Alert Welfare team this year than in 2018.


Experts believe that this reflects the changes in the modern workplace, with an increase in flexible and remote working meaning that employers must think differently about how they look out for their staff.

We are responding to this by providing new services to organisations who have a duty of care to its employees, wherever and whenever they are working.

Our chief technology officer Shaun Wilcock said: “As an organisation that has provided protection services to workers over the last two decades, we are seeing a change in the types of organisations who need to provide this level of support for their staff.

“This reflects the changing way of how people work. Housing providers, local authorities and utility companies have long understood the importance of providing a real time support to their lone worker staff 24/7.

“With technology and social changes impacting on the way we work, and more people working flexibly and alone, our services and those of other providers need to adapt to reflect this.”

We have developed our smart solution to enable users to provide a reassuring touchpoint to colleagues and teams who are away from the office.


Available on a smartphone app, Red Alert Welfare connects users with personal support from Orbis’ dedicated alarm receiving centre if they feel unsafe while working.

One client who has been using Red Alert support is Sarah Johnstone, who is a neighbourhood co-ordinator at Thirteen housing association, a long-standing Orbis client.

Sarah said: “Over my eight-year career as a neighbourhood co-ordinator, I do think that being a lone worker has become safer than ever. Our discrete alarms really offer peace of mind and the alarm receiving centre is so valuable. Knowing there’s someone at the end of the device to listen, able to locate me using GPS and can get the emergency services to me if needed, feels very comforting as a lone worker.”

We already provide lone worker protection services for organisations including the NHS, Ocado, Transport for London and HS2.

Orbis Protect partners with E.ON to tackle the UK’s housing shortage problem

The vacant property provider Orbis Protect and energy supplier E.on have joined in partnership to tackle the shortage of housing in the UK, by bringing empty homes back in use.

 

With over 600,000 homes empty in the UK and over 200,000 of which have been declared long-term empty properties. The scheme offers help to owners of properties that haven’t been lived in from anywhere between six months to 10-15 years. It will also Provide will provide specialist clearance and cleaning of any empty properties, externally and internally.

There are a number of reasons why private property owners leave homes empty and there are varying conditions and states of repair that we can help with. Sometimes people feel there is too much to do, they don’t have the time or the skills to bring the property up to standard. With our level of expertise, we can tackle anything from major clearance and cleaning, to vital safety checks.

Guy Other, CEO of Orbis Protect
image of CEO of Orbis Protect and E.ON

 

Orbis Protect has a skilled and experienced team already working with a number of social housing providers and deals with 100,000 empty properties each year. While making thorough checks, Orbis will also make sure the properties are safe and accessible for other service providers in order to bring the houses back to a decent standard.

 

E.ON is offering a free survey to private owners of empty properties to establish what is needed to bring the property back up to standard and once complete. While the Housing Solutions Manager of E.ON ‘Andrew Angus’ states.

Although we have been doing this for many years working, within the social housing and commercial sectors, it’s a skill we are easily able to transfer to private properties and we are really pleased to be working with E.ON and the council on this pilot scheme.

Andrew Angus, Housing Solutions Manager

New partnership for lone-worker protection

A new partnership of market-leading UK companies is set to greatly enhance the way UK employers provide technology to protect lone workers

Protection provider Orbis Protect has joined forces with Derbyshire-based workforce tech specialist TBS in a move that integrates lone worker security technology with users’ management platforms, making them accessible through a single device for the first time.

This partnership is expected to boost reliability and engagement levels with lone worker security technology, by providing users with a single point of access and avoiding the need for employees to have a second protection device. The solution integrates mobile workforce management and button alarms which lone workers can access using mobile devices to communicate with support teams if they require assistance.

Logo of TBS

This is the first time such a partnership has been set up in the lone worker protection industry. It could save major employers millions of pounds on providing lone workers with PDA devices, which are often underused.

Orbis Protect’s chief technology officer Shaun Wilcock said: “The services available to protect lone workers have evolved considerably over recent decades and we recognize that we need to lead the change that the industry needs to see.

“This new relationship with TBS is a ground-breaking development for the industry because it streamlines processes and provides users who work alone without direct supervision with the software to get jobs done more quickly. This has significant bottom-line benefits for employers and ultimately helps to keep users safer.”

Orbis Protect provides devices for more than 30,000 people who work alone every day, using sophisticated technology backed up by a responsive, knowledgeable support team. Clients include Ocado, the NHS, Transport for London and a large number of leading housing providers. TBS’ workforce management platform, provides features including mobile working, scheduling, job planning, Internet of Things and real-time management of an organization’s workforce.

Jon Poynton, TBS managing director said: Organisations today have a legal duty of care to protect their lone workers and colleagues who work alone. Our partnership with Orbis Protect will offer a smart solution to a long-standing challenge faced by the lone worker protection sector. 

“We think this will have far-reaching consequences, by offering users a much easier way to provide details about their location, communicate with members of a support team and ultimately ensure workers’ safety.

“We’re delighted to be part of the partnership and look forward to working with Orbis Protect and its partners to provide an even better service.”

Securing void properties and spaces

Guy Other, CEO at Orbis Protect, a leading player in the property security and lone worker markets, discusses how to keep void properties & sites secure.


Construction in the UK contributes billions every year to the UK economy. In 2017 total construction orders worth £163bn were generated and the sector employs 2.4m* people. This is an industry where high value machinery and materials are on‐site and insurance policies worth millions are taken out to protect against theft, breakages and vandalism. Security is rightly a priority for the success of a project in terms of the safety of construction spaces and protecting the value of empty properties.

We see this with many organisations across the UK we work with, by securing their assets we help clients learn more about the apparent risks posed at Construction, whilst giving them essential tools to minimise risk.

Ensuring safety

Active property and site management is vital and helps when working with insurance companies to protect your assets and be complaint. Larger sites can be kept secure with physical guarding or stand‐alone systems developed by accredited companies. Technology‐led solutions are by far the most cost effective and comprehensive way to safeguard a site/property, compared to the costs and limits of manned guarding.

Intruders will be deterred from trespassing with the installation of specialist CCTV towers. For example, physically imposing structures such as our Ultra CCTV Tower, a temporary CCTV solution or the Ultra Hybrid CCTV Tower, will make criminals think twice about trespassing. Coupled with this, cameras such as the Ultra Lite, a fixed deployment CCTV solution, will follow an intruder on‐site at night or during the day time. This provides a site manager and construction firm the confidence that their assets are protected and plays a significant role in reducing costs, such as vandalism, on vacant sites.

I’d advise working with an accredited security provider, look out for memberships with the British Security industry Association (BSIA), Achilles UVDB, a utility industry pre‐qualification system and CHAS, one of the founders of third‐party accreditation. Although all sites are different, there are some core things to bear in mind that will apply to all projects and that clients should consider from a security point of view.

Tips to protect your void property or site:

  • Update your insurer with any changes to the status of a site, a development, or a property, even if this is only partially vacant
  • Check the details of your insurance policy carefully and note any amendments to the cover
  • Assess the risks to your property/site and act on these to protect your investment
  • Arrange regular inspections so any changes to the property/site condition can be noted promptly
  • Let your commercial and residential neighbours know the site/property is void and ask them to be vigilant
  • Turn off all water, electricity, gas and waste services
  • Make sure the windows and letterboxes are secured on any properties
  • Use blinds and/or security screens to stop thieves looking inside
  • Regularly inspect the property as a matter of due diligence
  • Maintain the appearance of the property/site and keep gardens and grounds clear of waste, graffiti and building rubble
  • Add in security monitoring equipment such as alarms and CCTV towers on larger sites
  • Set up and maintain fencing and light timers to stop criminals entering the site/property
  • Install warning signage across a site

On‐site safety at Redcar

We partnered with South Tees Site Company on a security project at the former Teesside steelworks site throughout 2016. Based at the Redcar blast furnace we were employed to guard the 10‐kilometre site after it had been closed in October 2015, following a sale by SSI, a Thai steel firm.

The client had become concerned about on‐site safety following a series of break‐ins and wanted a cost‐effective solution, in comparison to the expense of man guarding.

The project centred around the roll‐out of a comprehensive on‐site alarm system throughout the entire non‐operational areas of the site. This acted to prevent theft and as an early warning health and safety alert system to stop unauthorised access to dangerous areas of the site.

By February 2017 we had installed 61 videofied alarm systems, which controlled over 500 camera devices, keeping the site safe, secure and health and safety compliant. This was a significantly more cost‐effective alternative to man guarding onsite and proved to be more effective and reliable than the security measures it replaced.

The nature and size of the site incurred some real challenges. For example, some buildings were over one kilometre long, making it necessary to secure 40‐metre‐high gantries in specific areas.

We worked with South Tees Site Company to protect the site and stop intruders successfully and within a year there had been no new reported incidents or intruders. The mixture of CCTV towers, alarm systems and impactful signage worked to warn off trespassers.


Construction industry: statistics and policy ‐ Chris Rhodes. Briefing paper, 27 December 2018, House of Commons Library

Orbis achieve Platinum status with Constructionline


“For businesses who want to take a further step towards Health & Safety excellence” – Constructionline


Following a comprehensive online audit from a professional external assessor, Orbis received a glowing report, demonstrating our commitment to safe working practices for our teams and ultimately for our clients.


“Orbis operates a good Health & Safety management system with evidence of good coordination and communication of Health & Safety throughout the organisation.” – Auditor

To support how serious Orbis take safety, we have multiple industry recognised accreditations, including:

  • OHSAS 18001
  • ISO 14001
  • ISO 19001

Established in 1981 as the innovator in steel security solutions in the South East of England, Orbis have grown throughout the UK. Over the years, the business expanded to included: temporary alarm systems, Property Management, Lone Worker Protection, Pest Control, Property & Site Inspection services and much more.

With a workforce over 400 throughout the UK, based in 20 offices with over 130 vehicles in operation, Orbis deliver rapid response security solutions to reduce risk and maintain insurance compliance.

Orbis Management Buyout Operation (MBO)

Successful completion of a management buyout operation (MBO) for Orbis Protect has been announced

Orbis Protect chief executive Guy Other led the MBO and was quoted as saying it signalled a “new phase of growth and product development” for the company.

“I believe NorthEdge will be ideal partners sharing and supporting our goal to become recognised as market leaders in all the key sectors we serve,” he said.

Head of Midlands at NorthEdge Capital. Rob Freer, said: 

“We are delighted to support Guy and the existing management team at Orbis Protect with this investment. Having developed a broad range of social housing and commercial services and an exciting offer in terms of its lone worker protection service, the company has become a leading player with the potential to grow further.

“There is particularly strong potential in the company’s commercial proposition with more product development to come, and we are confident that the team can continue the excellent progress made in recent years, to cement the business’ reputation as a true market leader.”

This new investment will help Orbis to drive growth, expand our services and introduce more product innovation across all sectors.

 

Browne Jacobson LLP

 

Online Mentions:

PfM

Browne Jacobson LLP

Have you noticed more wasps around? If not, you might very soon!

Wasp increase 2018 - Wasps covering cafe table in public place

 

According to the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) this season could be a “bumper” year, which means it is likely that properties and businesses could be inundated with wasps.

The BPCA also advised that once wasp populations used to rise and fall in a two-year pattern, however a change in the wasp’s activity is making predictions on their numbers more difficult to call.

Our expert pest control technician, John Colson added: “Don’t Blame it on the Weatherman”

“Common wisdom would blame the weather for the increase of Vespula Vulgaris (common wasp) but really we should be looking at the biology for the abundance of wasps and the change in behaviour on how the Wasps feeding habits change to start nest building and larval nursing of new Queens. This is where we start seeing the rise in the numbers of calls from the public as the feeding habits change from a sweet based diet such as fruit and your cold pint of beer to a protein based diet i.e. insects to start the expansion of the colony and nest building process, it is at this point that the number of wasp nests sites increase and the abundances of customer calls start coming in, so are you geared up?”

 

"The country should prepare for the worst and hope for the best" Alex Wade - Pelgar (leading manufacturer of pest control products)

 

Official BPCA Advice

  • Be aware of wasp activity
  • Remove wasp nests quickly
  • Use a professional pest management company
  • Check your pest controller’s credentials before buying services
  • Be careful: From September, wasps may become angrier and bolder

 

Do you need professional support with wasps

Orbis’ pest control teams are BPCA accredited, as well as vetted and DBS checked, enabling us to work in occupied and unoccupied buildings.

 

Send us a message below

 

 

More on our Pest Control services:

 

Sources:

BPCA – “Wasps going on? The changing pattern of summer pest behaviour”

 

 

Farmers turn to high-tech rural security solutions

Farm-Scene-with-ATV---Livestock-and-Fencing

According to NFU Mutual who provide cover to over 70% of Farmers, reported Farmers are having to resort to extreme measures to protect their vehicles and livestock.

Crime in rural areas is at its highest point since 2013, and farmers are worried being ‘staked out’ and longer police response times.

David Airey, a farmer in Sutton-in-Craven in North Yorkshire, said crime rates were the worst he had seen in 52 years of farming.

He has lost almost £20,000 in three quad bikes, trailers, metal, a tonne of sugar beet, drills, chainsaws, milk kits and nearly 100 ewes in repeated thefts.

“It’s relentless,” he said. “It’s scary, you wake up every morning, expecting to go outside and find something disappeared.”

 

Top ten targeted items

  1. Tools
  2. ATV/Quad
  3. Garden Equipment
  4. 4x4s
  5. Machinery
  6. Livestock
  7. Trailers and Horseboxes
  8. Oil/Diesel
  9. Equine
  10. Tractors

 

Nationwide Crime Increase

NFU Mutual Crime Report shows the following regional increase in crime between 2015/2016:

  • North East increase 8.7%
  • South West increase 5.6%
  • East of England increase 3.7%

 

Improving Rural Security

Some Farmers have turned to “medieval” and modern tech to secure their land, by digging trenches and earth banks, raising fences to implementing CCTV and alarms.

 

Our Solutions

Solar Power Rapid Deployment Temporary CCTV Tower

Orbis’ rapid deployment CCTV Towers, security fencing and alarms help Farmers sleep easier, knowing that our round the clock monitoring service is keeping a watchful eye over valuable items.

By creating “safe zones” Orbis’ CCTV Towers can protect valuable items within a 1km peripheral range.

 

CCTV Tower Features and Benefits include:

  • HD Predator Camera with night vision technology
  • Imposing 8-meter tall visual deterrent
  • Connect the tower to a max of 64 wireless infrared sensors for seamless perimeter coverage
  • Up to 30-day, time and date stamped HD footage retrieval
  • Live camera access online
  • Audio warnings and sirens
  • Connected to our highly accredited monitoring station
  • Solar powered options for sites with no power

 

Live Feed Quality

CCTV Tower HD Camera Quality Site Security

CCTV Tower Site Image Zoomed up High Definition Site Security

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find out more about our security solutions

 

Sources

BBC: Rural crime rise prompts “medieval defences”

NFU: Rural crime costs up 20% despite ‘fortress farms’

NFU Mutual Main Rural Report

CIH Housing 2018

CIH Housing 2018 - Manchester Central - Europe's Largest Social Housing Event - Orbis

 

We are pleased to invite you to meet Orbis at this years Housing 2018 taking place on 26-28 June at Manchester Central. Our focus will be how property managers can reduce void property turnaround time, minimise risks, remain insurance compliant.

Come see us on stand G8 to discover how our leading vacant property protection and management services can save you both time and money, whilst providing peace of mind.

We know it can be a long day on your feet, so while you’re with us, you’ll have chance to put your feet up and relax with a drink.

Click on the image above to register your FREE pass to CIH Housing 2018

 

 

 

CCTV Tower Exhibitions

We’ve had a busy few weeks at events, here are some images to help sum them up:

UK Infrastructure Show

 

MOD DPRTE

 

If you’re interested in finding out what events we have coming up, follow us on Twitter to be first to know!